Appeals court rejects arguments against new wells

A federal appeals court has rejected arguments by a coalition of environmental groups, who maintain that U.S. regulators failed to thoroughly review the potential dangers of drilling new deep wells off the coast of Alabama.

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sided with lower court decisions allowing Shell to move ahead with plans to drill 10 new deep-water wells in the Gulf of Mexico.

The environmental groups say the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management failed to properly analyze potential catastrophic spills and underestimated the likelihood of a spill.

However, the court concluded that an environmental assessment extensively analyzed the risks and consequences.

The court's decision states that after taking into account new regulations since the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster, the agency determined the risk of another spill was low.